tv BBC World News PBS March 11, 2011 12:30am-1:00am PST
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>> and now, "bbc world news." >> colonel gaddafi's troops force rebels from key strong holds while his son threatens a new bigger military onslaught. >> we are moving now. everybody is fighting. >> in brussels, the talking continues as the international community tries to decide what action to take. >> nato is united. nato is ready to act. >> saudi arabia, protesters call for a day of rage. the government promises tough action to preserve stability. welcome to bbc news broadcast to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. coming up a little later for you, we have a special report following afghanistan's new army recruits and how they are preparing to face the taliban.
and the most expensive musical in broadway history has had its opening postponed for a sixth time. welcome once again. pro government forces in libya have tend up their onslaught against the rebels who are leaving after a sustained bombardment. reports from the west say many parts of the town have been destroyed in the recent fighting of recent days with the initiative appearing to swing toward the government, colonel gaddafi's son has ordered a full-scale reaction to quash the rebellion. here is a report from tripoli. >> the rebels and the news teams following them are easy targets on an open road in the
desert. this is near an oil town and they were falling back. the rebels have gone up and down this road, but the gaddafi forces have more firepower. >> gaddafi fights with airplanes, you know, big ones and we don't have anything. >> colonel gaddafi's war planes and heavy weapons could be decisive if the rebels don't get help from abroad. the regime is suggesting that the americans might want to arm the rebels. >> i have the colonel with me for a moment. >> libyan tv had what seemed to be a phone call supposedly between the u.s. ambassador and a rebel general in the east. >> what equipment are coming? >> it's not clear what exactly the american diplomat, if it
was him, was offering. >> they want to support the militia, do it, but now, they will lose. we will win. i'm not afraid of the american fleet, nato, france, european, it is our country. we live here. we'll die here. we will never ever surrender to those terrorists. >> later in tripoli, colonel gaddafi's most prominent son addressed the forces he called the real libyans. they were supposed to be libya's future until the rebellion. as far as these people are concerned, that vision has been restored. the sons will succeed the father. the tide has been turned.
the rebels will be beaten. it feels like a victory rally. and there was a sharp message for the rebels, we're coming. jeremy bewen, bbc news tripoli. >> nato has insisted for a no-fly zone to be set up outside libya, there would have to be clear legal grounds and support. there is a gloomy assessment in washington of the rebels' chances. the u.k. and france are ramping up the pressure on the libyan leader saying he has lost any legitimacy. matthew price reports from brussels. >> this is not the easy revolution the world's leaders had hoped for. colonel gaddafi's hold on power may be shaky, but he could still win. at nato headquarters today, they were not banging the war drums, but they did decide to
continue planning for a variety of military scenarios. and there was a warning to libya's leader. >> i can't imagine the international community and the united nations stand ideally by if kerr -- idly by if colonel gaddafi continues attacking his people system matly. >> today in paris, the french president became the first leader to officially recognize the libyan opposition. later he and david cameron issued a joint appeal for a firm e.u. stance on libya when member states meet in brussels tomorrow. the french president has also suggested a limited campaign of targeted air strikes. among them, the military airfield in surt, colonel gaddafi's hometown, another in a town in the south of the country and one at gaddafi's barracks in tripoli. britain insists military action, though, could only be triggered if certain conditions are met.
>> that would of course be a demonstrable need for that to happen on the ground. secondly, there is a clear legal basis to do it. thirdly, that there is regional involvement. there was a feeling that if we undertook such a mission and didn't have one of the arab countries involves with us, then that could be open to misinterpretation but those who would want to do so. >> the overall impression here today is that europe's leaders are, on the whole, like their u.s. counterparts rather wary. they're happy to call for colonel gaddafi to go. they're happy to impose sanctions. they're extremely worried about getting drawn into a north african war. to help with the surveillance, the u.s. is moving its ships closer to the coastline. the obama is saying that his assessment that colonel gaddafi will remain in power. >> over time, this is a stalemate back and forth, over
the longer term, that the regime will prevail. that won't encourage the rebels. they held funerals today for two fighters. they're desperate for outside military help, but it's not coming yet. matthew price, bbc news, brussels. >> well, as we heard in matthew's report, france is the first nation to formally recognize the libyan opposition national council. the head of the council urged other countries to follow the french lead. >> the recognition by the french is a major boost for the national transitional council. what is going on in libya now makes it incumbent on all countries to follow suit and recognize the council because it represents those who are now controlling most of the country.
police in saudi arabia have opened fire to december percent shia protesters. several hundred demonstrators had taken to the streets to demand the release of nine prisoners. three men were wounded in the shooting which came a day before a planned protest calling for political reforms. the saudi authorities do place foreign journalists under tight restrictions but the bbc's paul wood has sent this report. >> saudi arabia tonight, young men run forward to confront the security forces. this is a town in the east where the minority lives. the protest is small enough. it's partly about local grievances, but for some, the so-called day of rage has already begun. earlier, i met a doctor, a shia
intellectual. his reform agenda and unrest on the streets is a combination that alrms the government. -- alarms the government. he stresses he wants peaceful change. >> i don't believe the place tomorrow, but we have to start somewhere after 10 years or 20 years or maybe 50 years, we have to start. >> many people do love the king and they worry that democracy will bring conflict to a tribal society. >> our government is the best government for us and we want it, but what you say that the people have to choose the government, no. this is a bad -- this is a bad way. this is a bad idea. >> never forget this is saudi
arabia, a country named after one family. the king has begun some reforms, though this is a place where the government remains very much in control. you're supposed to have an official minder to work here and producing a camera on the streets will very quickly bring the attention of the police. this is also a country with no tradition of public protest. the interior minister has just issued a statement saying that any demonstrations are illegal. everyone already knows that, of course, but the interior ministry has added rather ominously that it will take all measures necessary to deal with what it calls public disorder. shots were heard tonight. it's not clear if they were live rounds or plastic bullets. there were some injuries. this could be tear gas or a stun grenade. all this does mark an escalation that there have been
protests in the shiite east before. everyone is waiting if the capital ri hard is next. paul wood, bbc news, in saudi arabia. >> a professor of islamic and middle eastern studies at wayne state university in michigan in the united states. he is in our central london studio. professor, is it true that the saudi government says that it's unislamic to hold protests? >> no, clearly not. this is a religion that was forced on political dissent to innovate against tyranny, injustice, the social inequities of the arabian peninsula in the early part of the seventh century. so in order to go ahead now and say that this is some kind of an unlawful, sinful activity shows a kind of cynical cross legitimatization relationship between the religious authority and the state that each
validates the other's authority and political power, one saying that the scholars, the clerics are the only legitimate religious authority in saudi arabia and conversely, we find that it is these scholars who then miraculously provide their own religious cover and validation for the saudi state to keep it in power. >> what about this rhetoric that the government continues to use that saudi arabia is a very particular islamic state in which god's law is the ultimate rule and that you cannot go against the government? is that going to continue to work in the long run? >> long run, probably not, because there is a growing suspicion and a growing cynicism of these how this system is playing out because, again, there really is no historical predicate within the islamic narrative to allow this to occur. and unfortunately, this is going to play into the hands of
two different forces. it's going to quite rightly play into the forces of those seeking greater political enfranchisement, social enfranchisement in saudi arabia, but it is going to play in the hands of islamists who are not fans of the saudi regime and are going to be able to cleve that fissure in saudi society. this isn't about islam i am taking over in saudi arabia. what the fear is the detribalization of saudi culture, which then will remove the privileging of the house of saud and create a much more equal society. >> do you think the saudi government is ready for genuine reform? that is the main way to quell protests and to stop dissent? >> real reform is a much more contestable issue. as you know, the king upon his return to saudi arabia from
convalescing overseas pledged a $37 billion stimulus package, if you will, to try to placate the anxieties of the saudi public, but when you have a very large and very young population that is unemployed, the kind of boredom isn't something that is going to be passed up by throwing money at them or electronics, if you will. there is going to become a sense of purpose, a sense of inquiry as to where do they fit into society, how can they be productive members instead of sitting by idly. and at that point, the saudi regime then has to address some very critical issues. >> professor, we appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> this is bbc news. still ahead, a broken web, why the most expensive musical in broadway has had its opening
stopped for the sixth time. >> pope benedict has a new book about jesus christ. he absolves the jews of the death of jesus. it has been welcomed by jews around the world. from rome, here is our correspondent, duncan kennedy. >> the first copies of the pope's book have gone on sale. already the faithful and the curious are flocking to buy it. >> it's very important for everybody, not only for the catholics. >> the vatican predicts sales of more than a million copies in seven languages. the blaming the whole people with the accusation of having killed god is wrong is already known in the catholic church. the holy father underlines it blaming responsibility for this on the leaders at the time. >> pope benedict who this week started the church's preparations for easter writes about the life and death of jesus. in a key passage, the pope says
that jews were not responsible for the crucifixion of christ. instead it was the temple to blame, not jewish people as a whole. the pope has already visited the holy land to improve the sometimes strained relations with jews. his new book has been welcomed by jewish leaders. the pope also uses his book to speak out against religiously motivated violence aimed at christians and touches on other topical issues as well like the staying power of the world's dictators, asking whether the biggest dictators can rule because of what the pope calls ideological lies. pope benedict says jesus himself was not a revolutionary but used the power of love to heal. it's a message he hopes will now be transmitted through the power of his writing. duncan kennedy, bbc news, in rome.
>> this is bbc news. the headlines, colonel gaddafi's forces have been making further advances as they attempt to crush the rebel uprising in libya. his son threatens a new bigger military onslaught. internationally, there is much diplomatic talk but no agreement on what to do next. france has officially recognized libya's rebels. in the eastern city of ben gazi, civilians are getting used to life no longer under colonel gaddafi's control. it was one of the first cities to fall. it has become effectively the headquarters of anti-gaddafi forces. our correspondent is there and has visited one wealthy family who is supporting the rebels. >> the schools are closed here and families are keeping their children at home. it's one of the ways in which people have been affected by the battle for libya. as it goes on, i have come to find out how one family is keeping this very nice
neighborhood in the downtown area. you have already told me that you're not wanting for food or for water, that you can cope at the moment, but as the fighting goes on, how far are you prepared to go? >> until the end. >> until the end. >> yes, until the end. at the beginning we suffer from frightening, we have been afraid that someone would come and shoot us or something like that. >> you are a very well to do family. why are you protesting against colonel gaddafi? why are you backing the anti-gaddafi forces? >> because he was controlling everything in our lives. we are not able to say or do anything against him unless -- we're just doing what he tells us to do. >> if you got a good job, if you got a nice car, enough food
to feed your family, why is it so important that you can criticize your government enough to sacrifice your children, your life? >> we are doing it for dignity and humanity and freedom. this is what you need because gaddafi is a cultural everything and no good education, no good health care, no freedom in anything. you can't even read what you want to read. you cannot even say what you want to say, so he is controlling everything in our lives. >> and they are not the only people to say this. certainly gaddafi supporters are keeping a very low profile here. supporters of the anti-gaddafi forces will tell you that they are prepared to last as long as it takes to not see him back in power in libya again.
karzai is expected to bring out the first phrase later this month and the move will take afghanistan closer to having full responsibility for its own security. we have been following a group of afghan army recruits. in this second special report, we join them at the end of eight weeks of training before they face the taliban. our correspondent reports from cab you will. >> warning the reconstitutes about the dangers -- recruits about the dangers of a group attack. they train with real bullets. after each exercise with real bullets, recruits get a body search, a move prompted by fears of insurgents infiltration. >> a group attack is very good. the enemy cannot succeed. the enemy can't escape so we can arrest them.
>> after a brief exercise, the soldiers take a lunch break. >> it was a very good exercise. we can use it in the battlefield. when we walk in line and then lie down, then the enemy cannot attack us. we can defeat them. >> this marks the successful end of the two-month training, but this special, these young men become soldiers, god, duty, the duty of defending a country in war. every two weeks nearly 1,400 recruits graduate from the biggest training camp in afghanistan, but for some in the group, they are not told
where they are to be deployed. i said he is going to helmond. it is not good news for him and others in the group. >> helmond has a bad reputation in the world, so when my parents find out, they might think i'm being deployed to a bad place, but i have to do my duty. it's also my province. it is a bit remote, though. >> after eight weeks of training, i have to say goodbye . they will have to use the tactics they learned during the training in the real battlefield. the government hopes that these new recruits will help the smooth security transition to afghan forces. >> it is priciest production in broadway history. but spiderman, the fortunes are falling fast and there is no safety in sight.
the official opening has been delayed for a sixth tile and the director is stepping aside. previews have been selling out for months, but after accidents and very scathing reviews, could this $65 million show go down as one of broadway's biggest blunders. our correspondent reports. >> the musical, spiderman, turn off the dark has not got off to a flying start. it is the most expensive show in broadway's history, but it has been beset with problems. there has been cost overruns, injured actors and a "new york times" review of a preview saying the show is so grievously broken that is beyond repair, all that and it hasn't even opened yet. >> i went to the first preview on november 28. the show stopped five different times including one point where spiderman was left just hanging in the air. i have seen it four other times
and it's definitely gotten better. >> spiderman's official opening has been postponed again. today, a new creative team was installed to make significant revisions. that is not all bad news. the rock stars who have written the show's music remain fully committed. >> i think we're interested in it because it's a really quintessential new york story and we're all kind of want to be new yorkers. >> and all of the bad press has not put off the pundits. >> this is the they at ri cal story of their generation on broadway. whatever, we don't know. that is part of the excitement. >> it is kind of add that there are so many accidents. i guess if there are so many accidents, there must be a lot of technical stuff, so it should be really, really awesome to see. >> the wizard of oz when opened in london last week is another big budget show. for the producers of such musicals, the stakes are getting higher and higher. the public wants more and more spectacular shows like the
wizard of oz here where you got blockbuster sets and wow factor stunts. but they're expensive, risky, and complicated. but the producers know that if they get it right, well, then there really is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. >> you can make zillions, you know look at the success andrews had with "phantom of the opera"," cameron has had with "ls misarables," you can make big money. >> peter parker was a rejected teenager before he became into spiderman, a big hero. the team behind the musical will hope for a similar transformation. >> and of course there is plenty more on all of the stories we have featured in this bulletin on the bbc news
website. >> hello and welcome. >> see the news unfold, get the top stories from around the globe and click-to-play video reports. go to bbc.com/news to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news" online. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its global financial strength to